Go Back
+ servings

Vegan Carbonara w/ Shiitake Mushrooms

A creamy Italian comfort food classic gets a plant based makeover with cashew cream and shiitake bacon. Try my Vegan Carbonara recipe today for an easy 30-minute weeknight meal.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 459kcal
Author: Sarah McMinn


Shiitake Bacon

Cashew Cream

Everything Else

  • 8 ounces spaghetti noodles
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil, divided
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoon vegan parmesan
  • fresh parsley, minced


  • In a large pot, bring 2 quarts of salted water to a boil. Once boiling, add the spaghetti noodles. Boil pasta for 7-9 minutes (according to package directions), until al dente. Strain through a colander, reserving 1 cup of the pasta cooking liquid. Do not rinse pasta with water; the starch of the noodles helps bind the sauce to the pasta.
  • While the pasta is cooking, make the shiitake bacon. In a bowl, mix together the ingredients for the bacon marinade. In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of oil over medium heat. Add the shiitake mushrooms and sauté for two to three minutes, until they have shrunk in size and are vibrant in color. Add the bacon marinade and cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid has evaporated and the mushrooms are dark brown. Remove from skillet and wipe it clean.
  • To make the cashew cream, combine the cashews with ½ cup water, nutritional yeast, and salt in a high powered blender, like a Vitamix. Blend until completely smooth. Note: if you don't have a high-powered blender, soak the cashews in warm water for at least 4 hours to soften them before blending them in a regular blender or food processor. Set aside.
  • Add the remaining oil to your skillet and return it to medium heat. Add the garlic and sauté for 30 seconds, until the garlic is fragrant. Stir in the cooked pasta along with the cashew cream sauce and ½ cup of pasta cooking liquid. You may need to add up to an additional ¼ cup of pasta cooking liquid if the sauce is too thick. Stir until your sauce is smooth and creamy. Add the shiitake bacon. Taste and adjust seasonings.
  • Serve immediately with vegan parmesan and fresh parsley.


Serving & Storing - This vegan mushroom carbonara is best served immediately after assembly with a quick flourish of vegan parmesan and fresh parsley. If you happen to have leftovers, they should keep for up to a week in the refrigerator. Note: You may need to add a bit of water when reheating leftovers to loosen the sauce.
Recipe Tips
  1. Cook the pasta to al dente to avoid mushy pasta. If you use thicker or thinner noodles, I recommend following the box’s instructions to cook the pasta al dente. Cook times can range from 5 to 6 minutes to 12 or more depending on the variety.
  2. For a gluten free version, substitute your favorite brand of gluten free pasta (as long as it's long and skinny!) and opt for tamari or coconut aminos in place of the soy sauce.
Variations - For a mushroom free version, try tofu bacon or eggplant bacon instead.


Calories: 459kcal | Carbohydrates: 59g | Protein: 19g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 7mg | Sodium: 1253mg | Potassium: 496mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 64IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 124mg | Iron: 3mg